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Disclaimer: The author of this site maintained the campaign weblog of John Kline's opponent in the 2006 election, which made Congressman Kline a bit testy.

As with all blogs, review the facts carefully and draw your own conclusions.

Friday, November 03, 2006

Bush and Kline: Partisanship Above All

[Disclaimer: This post was first published on Coleen Rowley's campaign weblog.]

This is unbelieveable. Today the New York Times has not one, but two stories, each of which on their own provides sufficient reason to vote against John Kline and any other congressional Republican, regardless of any other considerations.

First, the Times reports that the Bush administration, at the behest of Congressional Republicans, posted captured documents about Iraq's nuclear program online. The motivation for doing so was to encourage war supporters and right-wing bloggers to do further research in an effort to retroactively justify the administration's flawed decision to invade Iraq. The practical consequence, however, is that posting the documents was a horrendous security risk:

Ray E. Kidder, a senior nuclear physicist at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California, an arms design center, said "some things in these documents would be helpful" to nations aspiring to develop nuclear weapons and should have remained secret.

A senior American intelligence official who deals routinely with atomic issues said the documents showed "where the Iraqis failed and how to get around the failures." The documents, he added, could perhaps help Iran or other nations making a serious effort to develop nuclear arms, but probably not terrorists or poorly equipped states.

For all their talk about being "tough on terror," the administration didn't think twice about posting sensitive intelligence information online in the hopes of reversing the embarrassment of their flawed rationale for the war. And this is an administration which laughably cited national security concerns as the reason for refusing to disclose the log of who has met with Dick Cheney.

Nothing is more important to this administration than advancing the Republican party's hold on power. Nothing. In such a situation, it is vital that Congress performs its Constitutionally-mandated role of oversight to hold the executive accountable. And that's where the second Times story comes in.

John Kline claims to be a fiscal conservative, and has cited budgetary concerns as his reason for not doing more for disabled veterans. But he has made no effort to address the estimated $8.8 billion in Iraq reconstruction funds which have quite simply vanished, or the war profiteering of companies like Halliburton. And while Kline points to his theoretical support for veterans and troops on the ground and the principal reason to re-elect him, he is silent on the fact that over 370,000 weapons intended for Iraqi security forces haven't been properly tracked, and that 14,000 assault rifles, machine guns, and rocket-propelled grenades have just disappeared.

These weapons will be used to kill Americans. And the missing billions and war profiteering will cost lives as well. And any member of Congress, from any party, should be working aggressively to insure further deadly blunders of this sort don't occur.

However John Kline and his Republican friends on the House Armed Services Committee recently inserted a provision into a military appropriations bill which shuts down the only office providing any meaningful oversight over Iraq's reconstruction. As of October 1, 2007, we will no longer hear reports about missing reconstruction funds, war profiteering, and missing weapons.

We'll still be wasting billions in taxpayer money, and American soldiers will still be dying needlessly. It's just that we'll never know about it, because John Kline and the House Republican leadership are more concerned with ending the embarrassment of the disaster in Iraq than they are in fixing the mess they made.

There are many reasons to vote for Coleen on November 7, and many reasons to vote against John Kline. But this kind of extreme, single-minded partisanship is reason enough in itself to throw out Kline. And Kennedy, and Ramstad, and Gutknecht.

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